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Roadshow Video Reviews
2011 Scion xBThe perfect Scion xB, if you like your cars very blue.
The current Scion xB is a little bit larger and a little bit rounder that when the car first arrived, then split opinions right down the middle. This second generation model in the special Release Series Trim does little for world peace. Let's drive it and check the tack. The most interesting thing about this xB is that it's a Release Series. 2,000 copies, 1 color-- that's the tradition. Last year it was Murasaki, before that absolutely [unk] he get the idea. The most interesting thing about all xBs is that they're considered a pretty cool blank slate from which to customize either with the wide array of TRD toys from the factory or the huge amount of tech you can do aftermarket. If you buy one of these stack and just drive it, I think you sort of miss the point. Alright, so what distinguishes an xB from a Release Series 8.0 xB? Well, the most obvious, if you spotted it, the paint this is called Voodoo Blue because it will make anybody believe in the devil. I forgot to tell you, I got lots of thunbs up while driving it and I don't get it. Body Kit all around from KenStyle that redoes the front, the chin, the lower buttress hanging off the back and the side tearings here below the doorline and you've also got this carbon fiber stuff around here. I think that's part of the kit. The wheels by the way are not. Those are an a la carte option not part of a Release Series. It has more inside. I got to say I kinda like the xB. It kinda reminds me of the old early vans like, you know, early and mid-60's Econolines and Dutch vans and things like that. It's really upright. It's really utilitarian. It's funky. It's kinda fun. Now, this hole right here is where you've got a real sketch pad to work with. It's a Double-Din vacancy in the dash. They ship it with a standard pioneer branded Scion system with the 8 speakers, two of which are these door tweeters up here and from there you can go up to this guy which is an improved Alpine audio, CD slot, touch screen but no knob, no DVD playback. It's got a knob button here for an out board navigation module but you don't really wanna do knob on that little screen. They've also got a big 7-inch unit. If you want to go for a knob from the factory-- what I would do is just stay with the based pioneer unit, don't pay anymore and then go aftermarket. If you buy a car like this, you want to kind of express your own system and probably do up the amps and subs and all that kind of thing in consultation with our own [unk] good when almost too sure at it. When you do go stock, you've got CD, AM, FM, XM compatible but not included right off to get and you always have auxiliary and USB which is iPad compatible down here in the console. I kinda like how they do this. You see that little floor right there? That's actually a false floor, lift that up and that's where you can hide your gear, plug-in to one of the ports, put this back and you might not know I have anything in here. Now, the Bluetooth ring on this car is crazy. At least one of the upgraded head units has Bluetoot built-in but in our car, we have the a la carte Bluetooth which is sucktooth. It's this thing over here for 300 bucks they add this guy in and it got this little buttons. You've seen me demonstrate this, before you hold the button down and it makes certain beeps and that's how you pair it or make calls. There's no display. There's no point. And, Scion has handily anticipated-- you may rather be stupid or not live in a radio check and they have a Scion branded and bag auxiliary cable-- never seen that before from a car maker. Inside the car, some of the release [unk] stuff is this unique upholstery black with a blue inserts. You've got this little badge right here that told you you're serial number. I'm not sure if you can see this when the headlights are on. Yup, lights up all blue. You've also got a power glass roof up here. Kinda of a spacious one, I like that. And, you've got these nice blue logo xB Release [Unk] format, so you can wipe your shoes all over what you paid for. Our shifters up here on this interesting console that has what looks to be a commercial restaurant mandolin, right there. We have the automatic in this case which has a traditional gait, a shiftable gait. No paddles on it. And, by the way these automatics are rather antiquated 4 speed. The base on this car is a 5 speed manual. Okay, now under the hood of a Scion xB whether it's a Release 8.0 or any xB, you got the same old loader but I'm not gonna sneer at it because folks total built an empire on engines like this, so perfectly good, garden variety, nice running, forever running in line for 2.4-Liter in this case, variable valve timing, 16 valves, 4 per cylinder. It's a modern engine but there's no [unk] tech going on here. 158 horsepower, 162 foot-pounds of torque-- I like the chunky torque number. We'll see how that plays out on the road in a minute. 0 to 60 on this guy which weighs about 3,000 pounds is a perfectly fine 8-1/2 seconds depending on your gear box and the mileage is also perfectly fine 22-28. Scion xB doesn't make any pretensions about being some kind of a performance car. It's more of a cool, quirky, paint-your-own thing car. It is roomy inside. You get a nice, big, broad shouldered feeling inside this guy. It obviously mimics its external lines. The ride is pretty tightly sprung. That plus the relatively [unk] build and lack of much sound bending, makes for a bit of a utilitarian ride but the power train is one that I like. It's not kind of bony body away but it's what we use to call Zippy or Perky. This transmission is probably kind of a weak link. I mean, 4 speeds means that you're frequently not getting the most out of this motor, not from what I can tell. Okay, let's place this xB, starts off at 16-7 delivered with a manual gearbox at 5 feet. If you want the 4 speed automatic, at 950. Now, the Release Series package-- it's a different car. It's not something you can option in but it races the price of an xB by 2400 dollars itself. Other options include all those different head units I mentioned they range from like 450 to 2,000 dollars. Again, look at the aftermarket first because that's all that Toyota is selling you here is an aftermarket head unit from the factory. It does really make a lot of sense to me and the one you don't want to buy is the 300 dollars for that annoying screenless non-interface Bluetooth ring. You can do better.